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What is a Cedar Shake Roof Replacement? (Process, Lifespan, and More)

December 14th, 2020 | 6 min. read

What is a Cedar Shake Roof Replacement? (Process, Lifespan, and More)

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Are you ready for a roof replacement? Are you looking for something different than the commonly seen asphalt or metal roof? 

If so, a beautiful cedar shake roof might be right for your replacement. But what is a cedar shake roof replacement? Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents of Nashville with high-quality roof replacements, including cedar shake roofs, since 1990. Our workmanship ensures your roof investment is maximized. When you work with us, you’ll never worry about your roof again. 

By the end of this article, you'll learn what a cedar shake roof replacement is and what you need to know about getting one. 

What is a cedar shake roof replacement? 

A cedar shake roof is a premium roof system made of natural wood (cedar) materials. While it serves the same functions as an asphalt or metal roof, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing roofs you’ll see. 

cedar shake roof

But what is a cedar shake roof replacement? A cedar shake roof replacement is tearing off your old roofing materials down to the decking and installing all-new cedar shake roofing materials (cedar shake shingles, ridge capping, etc.) and other crucial roofing components.

Be aware, the manufacturers of cedar shakes don’t keep stockpiles of the shingles. They’re made to order, which means they don’t split or saw them until an order is placed. Because of this, it could take 3 to 8 weeks to get the materials for your cedar shake roof replacement. 

4 things you need to know about a cedar shake roof replacement

Now that you learned what a cedar shake roof replacement is, there are some things you need to know about it. Knowing the grades of cedar shake shingles, the process to replace your roof, and more helps you understand your replacement. 

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about getting a cedar shake roof replacement. 

1. The grades of cedar shake shingles 

Your cedar shingles are what you see from the street and make up the bulk of your cedar shake roof. There are 3 grades of cedar shake shingles: common, selects, and 100% straight grain. 

Common cedar shake shingles

Common grade is the cheapest and most inferior of the 3 types. They’re randomly cut and made out of any part of the tree (basically the leftovers of other cuts). These cedar shake shingles will be the first ones to split and warp. 

Select cedar shake shingles

The next grade of cedar shake shingle is selects. These shingles will be a mix of the 2 other types of grades, somewhere around 80% straight grain and 20% commons. Your roofing contractor should go through the selects to find the best quality cedar shingles to install on your roof. 

100% straight grain cedar shake shingles

The third and best quality grade of cedar shake shingles is 100% straight grain. Each one of these is hand-selected and straight grained. When the grain is straight, the shingles lay flat and you don’t have to worry about them curling up. 

If you’re already investing in a new cedar shake roof, I recommend spending the extra little bit of money and go with the 100% straight grain grade cedar shingles.

2. The roofing materials included in your cedar shake roof replacement

Now that you know the grades of cedar shake shingles, you need to know the rest of the roofing materials that are part of your cedar shake roof replacement. 

Your cedar shake roof replacement is a combination of different key roofing components and materials to ensure your home stays leak-free. While the cedar shake shingles are the bulk of a cedar shake roof, all the other roofing materials are just as important. 

The main materials and components that make up your cedar shake roof are: 

  • Roof decking
  • Flashing 
  • Underlayment 
  • Drip edge 
  • Ice and water shield 
  • Cedar shake shingles 
  • Ridge capping 
  • Roof vents 
  • Pipe boots

All of these materials are important to help your cedar shake roof do what it does best, protecting you and your family. To learn more about the functions of each roofing component and material, read this article on the 9 materials included in your roof replacement.

3. The process to replace your old roof with a new cedar shake roof

The day your cedar shake roof is installed is the most important day in the life of your new roof. It must be installed using correct roofing techniques to truly give you peace of mind. But what does the roof replacement process look like?

The first step to your cedar shake roof replacement is getting all the roofing materials delivered to your home. Then on the day of your replacement, your local roofing contractor will ensure all the vehicles are moved out of your driveway or garage.

After making sure everything is clear for them to start, they’ll start setting up protection for your property and begin the tear-off process. After your old roof is torn off to a clean decking, they’ll begin installing all of your new cedar shake roofing materials. 

Once your new roof is properly installed, your contractor will clean up your property and inspect your new roof to ensure the workmanship reaches the high standards you expect. 

This is a short summary of what your replacement looks like. To go into more details about the entire replacement process, read this article on the 8-step process to replace your roof.

4. How long does a cedar shake roof last? 

When investing in a new roof, you’re expecting to get as many years out of it as possible. This is especially true when investing in a new cedar shake roof. 

But how long will your cedar shake roof actually last? 

As long as it’s properly installed and with proper maintenance, you can expect to get 30 years of life out of your cedar shake roof. If you invest in quality materials and live in an area with the right conditions, you could possibly get up to 50 years out of it.

Be aware, cedar shake shingles are naturally made, so there’s no manufacturer warranty on the materials if they fail prematurely. This leaves you with only your roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty to rely on if there’s ever a problem with your cedar shake roof.

To get the best roof possible, you should always look for a contractor that offers you a lifetime warranty. To learn more about roof warranties, read this article on what roof warranties cover.

How much does a cedar shake roof replacement cost?

You just learned what a cedar shake roof replacement is and 4 things you need to know about it. But there's still one more important thing we didn't cover in this article, the cost of a cedar shake roof. 

This is the biggest question or concern homeowners have before they invest in a new roof. However, most roofing companies don't like to discuss pricing. 

Because we want you to have all the knowledge you need to make the right purchasing decision, we're going to give you an idea of the budget you'll need for a new cedar shake roof. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality cedar shake roof replacements in Nashville and surrounding areas since 1990. We want to educate every homeowner so they're able to make the right decisions. And if we're the right fit for you, we're proud to provide a lifetime warranty on our workmanship after the job is done. 

To learn the price of a cedar shake roof, check out How Much Will Your New Cedar Shake Roof Cost? (Price, Factors, & More).

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